Ireland has fully recovered 13.1 billion euros (about $14.5 billion) in disputed taxes from Apple (plus interest of 1.2 billion) that it will hold in an escrow fund pending its appeal against an EU tax ruling, Ireland’s finance minister Paschal Donohoe said today.
The company has appointed investment managers to oversee the disputed cash, whom Donohoe said would make low-risk investment decisions and the Irish taxpayer would be protected from any losses, according to Reuters.
The European Commission, Europe’s anti-trust and consumer investigation agency, ruled in 2016 that Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have attracted investment and jobs by helping big companies avoid tax in other countries, including EU members. The commission suspects Ireland was too lenient in rulings it gave to Apple and which helped the company shield tens of billions of dollars in profit from taxation. At 12.5%, Ireland’s corporate tax rate beats the U.S. rate of 35%. However, participating companies don’t pay that 12.5% under the double Irish structure.
The Irish government wasn’t happy with the EU ruling. It worried about being held accountable for any depreciation on the money, which, as mentioned, will go into an escrow account if the tech giant should win an appeal at some point and need a refund.
“We are not the global tax collector for everybody else,” Donohoe said.